Mission: Founded in 1883, YMCAs collectively make up the largest nonprofit community service organization in America. YMCAs are at the heart of community life in neighborhoods and towns across the nation. They work to meet the health and social service needs of 16.9 million men, women and children. Ys help people develop values and behavior that are consistent with Christian principles. Ys are for people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages and incomes. No one is turned away for inability to pay. YMCAs' strength is in the people they bring together. In the average Y, a volunteer board sets policy for its executive, who manages the operation with full-time and part-time staff and volunteer leaders. Ys meet local community needs through organized activities called programs. In its own way, every Y nurtures the healthy development of children and teens; strengthens families; and makes its community a healthier, safer, better place to live. YMCA programs are tools for building the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Longtime leaders in community-based health and fitness and aquatics, Ys teach kids to swim, offer exercise classes for people with disabilities and lead adult aerobics. They also offer hundreds of other programs in response to community needs, including camping, child care (the Y movement is the nation's largest not-for-profit provider), teen clubs, environmental programs, substance abuse prevention, youth sports, family nights, job training, international exchange and many more. Organization: Each YMCA is a charitable nonprofit, qualifying under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Each is independent. YMCAs are required by the national constitution to pay annual dues, to refrain from discrimination and to support the YMCA mission. All other decisions are local choices, including programs offered, staffing and style of operation. The national office, called the YMCA of the USA, is in Chicago, with Field offices in California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Texas. It is staffed by 241 employees. Its purpose is to serve member associations. International: YMCAs are at work in more than 120 countries around the world, serving more than 30 million people. Some 230 local US Ys maintain more than 370 relationships with Ys in other countries, operate international programs and contribute to YMCA work worldwide through the YMCA World Service campaign. Like other national YMCA movements, the YMCA of the USA is a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. History: The YMCA was founded in London, England, in 1844 by George Williams and about a dozen friends who lived and worked as clerks in a draperya forerunner of dry-goods and department stores. Their goal was to help young men like themselves find God. The first members were evangelical Protestants who prayed and studied the Bible as an alternative to vice. The Y movement has always been nonsectarian and today accepts those of all faiths at all levels of the organization, despite its unchanging name, the Young Men's Christian Association. The first U.S. YMCA started in Boston in 1851, the work of Thomas Sullivan, a retired sea captain who was a lay missionary. Ys spread fast and soon were serving boys and older men as well as young men. Although 5,145 women worked in YMCA military canteens in World War I, it wasn't until after World War II that women and girls were admitted to full membership and participation in the US YMCAs. Today half of all YMCA members and program members are female, and half are under age 18.
Programs: A focus on youth development: please see schedule o for the program service accomplishment explanation. We believe that all youth deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. With the y's help, children discover who they are and receive the guidance needed to cultivate the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and academic achievement. The y's core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are woven into all our youth development programs. With nearly 30% of lancaster county children not ready to begin kindergarten, there is an urgent need in the community for quality, accessible school readiness programming. The lancaster family ymca is addressing this issue by offering full-day preschool/pre-k programming and providing financial assistance towards enrollment for families in need. The y's school-age child care program provides a positive, enriching and safe environment for children during the critical after-school hours. -in 2014, the lancaster family ymca provided $40,108 in financial assistance to 41 children to participate in our pre-school/pre-k program. -with the support of the united way, and working in partnership with the school district of lancaster, the y offered free after-school enrichment programs for 120 children at three elementary schools. The y also offered after-school programming for 22 children at our city center y branch. The y strives to prevent childhood obesity and support children and families in developing lasting healthy lifestyles through fitness and wellness programs like fit kids, family swim time and family group exercise classes. Our youth sports programs engage children in exercise while helping kids develop character and learn the value of teamwork and fair play. Through youth swim classes, children learn to swim while also building confidence. -in 2014, we launched the lancaster family ymca kids marathon. This program encourages children to engage in ongoing healthy activities with their families by running, walking, biking or swimming in 1-mile increments over several months to reach a total of 26. 2 miles. -3,469 children participated in youth sports and aquatics programsthe y works to offset the effect of youth summer learning loss through day and overnight camping programs that provide enriching summer activities, encourage children to explore new ideas and foster an excitement for learning they will carry into the coming school year. -912 children attended our day and overnight camp programs. -$81,169 in financial assistance was given to 361 children to attend y summer camp.
a focus on healthy living: please see schedule o for the program service accomplishment explanation. Being healthy means more than simply being physically active. At the y, a supportive community is a big part of wellness. Members and program participants often cite the support and enthusiasm of fellow participants and y staff as a key factor in their achievement of greater well-being. Helping people develop their spirit, mind and body is at the core of the y movement. Our programs are designed to help people create realistic goals for self-improvement, emphasize disease prevention through regular exercise, proper nutrition, stress management and health education. Our care (cancer rehabilitation exercise) program, offered in partnership with lancaster general health, provides support for cancer patients looking to regain quality of life after their cancer treatments. Our active older adult initiative offers tailored exercise programs and social and volunteer activities so critical to our senior population. Partnerships with the office of aging and insurance companies, helps make participation in these programs available for those on a fixed income. The y also has an impact on the health and wellness of the workforce in lancaster county. The economic costs of our nation's physical inactivity and obesity are borne largely by employers through increased health insurance premiums and lost productivity. The lancaster family ymca has a tremendous ability to support our community by creating wellness incentives for employees of local schools and businesses and providing fitness programs within the workplace. -the lancaster family ymca serves more than 18,000 members. -472 adults participated in sports, health and wellness and recreation programs. -$340,762 was given in financial assistance towards participation in y membership and programs. 3,786 children, families, and adults benefitted from financial assistance. -our care (cancer rehabilitation exercise) program, run in partnership with lancaster general health, supported 52 adults in 2014.
a focus on social responsibility: please see schedule o for the program service accomplishment explanation. The lancaster family ymca is an association united by a common goal of strengthening the foundations of our community. We do this together, by making our community a better place to raise our children, a better place to work, and a better place to live. The generosity of others is at the core of the y's existence as a nonprofit. It is only through the support of volunteers and public and private donors that we are able to support and give back to the communities we engage. As an association, the lancaster family ymca works in partnership with local organizations, businesses and schools to meet the needs within the community. The y is a member-based, volunteer led non-profit organization governed by a board of directors and supported by branch boards of managers and board sub-committees. As a charitable non-profit organization, ymca membership and programs are available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. In 2014, $833,820 was received in contributory support to the ymca from individuals, foundations, businesses and the united way. The lancaster family ymca engaged 474 donors to support their neighbors and the community. -the ymca helps others fulfill their social responsibility with 3,900 volunteer hours provided in support and giving back to their community. -22 families are served through the y's power packs program run in partnership with the wesley united methodist church in strasburg, pa. -307 holiday food boxes were distributed to families in need through our volunteer-led annual turkey drive -in 2014, the y supported the mission of fellow non-profits through program partnerships and sharing our facilities. Organizations we partnered with include: big brothers big sisters of lancaster county, cross connections ministries, exit lancaster, power packs project, school district of lancaster, lampeter-strasburg school district, special olympics of lancaster, lancaster senior gamesthe lancaster family ymca is a significant force for good. We are an organization committed to act on its social responsibility while helping others act on theirs. We enhance our value as an indispensable resource to individuals and communities by expanding our position as a leader in meeting those developmental needs that make for a higher quality of life throughout lancaster county.